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Emdens House

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1917, Howard B. Burr. 607 E. Anhurst St.
  • Emdens House (David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim)

Howard B. Burr of Waterloo utilized a wide range of elements derived from the Prairie school. The two-story brick-clad box that forms the core of the dwelling is covered by a low-pitched red tile hipped roof, which is cantilevered out to an extreme degree. In the front center of this roof is a wonderfully overscaled gable dormer. A gable roof projects over the entrance, and the gable theme reappears on the dormer on the front of the roof and on the accompanying one-and-a-half-story garage building. The boxlike form of the house is, as one often finds in Prairie houses, countered by an emphasis on the horizontal. In the Emdens house the contrast is accomplished through the low walls of the raised brick terrace in front, as well as by the porte-cochère on one side and the living porch on the other. The designer seems to have expressed his delight in playing with the horizontal by introducing bands of different widths across the facades of the house. He has even added horizontal bars in the upper units of the double-sash windows. All in all, it is a remarkable example of the Prairie mode.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim


What's Nearby


David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim, "Emdens House", [Marcus, Iowa], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Iowa, David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 484-484.

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